What's real and what's fake: Debunking misleading content about the Turkey earthquake

Many images and videos that are unrelated have been circulating on social media
Many images and videos that are unrelated have been circulating on social media Copyright Omar Sanadiki/AP
Copyright Omar Sanadiki/AP
By Sophia Khatsenkova
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As the death toll soars following the Turkey-Syria earthquake, so is the amount of fake information and videos.

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A frantic race is currently underway in Turkey and Syria after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the region on Monday, killing more than 5,000 people. 

Chilling videos of the aftermath and rescue efforts have been circulating on social media including an alarming number of completely unrelated and misleading content.  

One of the most shared videos on Twitter has been viewed more than 1.3 million times. Multiple buildings are seen crumbling to the ground which the Twitter user attributes to the earthquake in Turkey.

But after conducting an image reverse search, the video actually dates back to 2021 and shows the collapse of the Surfside condominium in Florida, which killed 98 people. 

Other videos such as this one claims a tsunami hit the Turkish coast after the earthquake.

Once again, using the same tools, Euronews found the video dates back to 2017 and actually shows a mini tsunami hitting the coast of Durban in South Africa. 

Another image of a boy crying while sititng on rubble has been retweeted thousands of time. Twitter users are saying its the saddest image of the earthquake in Turkey. 

Once again, the image is misleading because it’s a staged photoshoot and is sold as a stock picture

Did a researcher predict the earthquake?

There’s also  a staggering number of posts on social media claiming there will soon be the same magnitude disaster that will hit Pakistan and Afghanistan. 

It all started with a tweet by a so-called researcher who predicted on February 3rd that there will be a 7.5 magnitude earthquake that will hit Turkey and Syria.

Although the prediction was correct, we have to be careful with the science behind it. The person claims to predict seismic activity by studying planetary alignment which is not scientifically proven

He had already been slammed by the scientific community for inaccurate predictions.

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